Slips between the cup and the lip: The sorry state of reservation in Central Universities

 

Hany Babu M.T.

A massive recruitment exercise is just about to get under way at the University of Delhi. The University has recently advertized for 665 teaching positions with the break up as follows: Professor: 99, Associate Professor: 206, and Assistant Professor: 360. This round of recruitment, however, raises a grave concern with respect to the implementation of reservation in general and OBC reservation in particular. What is most paradoxical is that this round of recruitment is taking place after the University has finally conceded to two longstanding demands: (1) the implementation of reservation in the Professor and Associate Professor posts and (2) the implementation of the 200-point roster taking the college and the postgraduate departments (as the case may be) as a single unit. However, living up to its notorious reputation with respect to the implementation of reservation, the University is all set to violate all norms, thereby depriving the reserved categories of thousands of posts.

Apart from the current state of reservation in the teaching positions at the University of Delhi, this paper also looks at the larger picture of OBC reservation in the teaching faculty positions and identifies two factors that have colluded to deny OBCs their rightful share in the recruitment of teaching faculty. Firstly, though the Central Government implemented OBC reservation in 1993, Central Universities adopted OBC reservation in teaching positions only in 2007. There has so far been no attempt to take into account the consequent shortfall in OBC reservation. Secondly, the brahminical forces have conspired to deprive reservation for OBC in the posts of Associate Professor and Professor. This means that OBCs are deprived an equal chance to move upward in the academic hierarchy, which would, among other things, also deprive them adequate representation in the decision making bodies, as OBCs are very scantily represented in the higher positions in the academic echelons.

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A sure way to produce Dalit dropouts

 

Udit Raj & Hany Babu

The article in The Hindu by Mr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, on the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) in the University of Delhi (Op-Ed, "Drop the rhetoric, start the debate," June 1, 2013) raises certain important issues.

du multiple exit points

The multiple exit points could become traps for students who are less privileged. Photo: Meeta Ahlawat

Mr. Tharoor, like most of the mainstream media in India, seems to be unaware of the arguments that are currently being made in opposition to the FYUP. The issue is no more confined to course structure or syllabi. Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Class (SC/ST/OBC) groups have advocated caution on the potential of the new programme to make the reservation policy mandated by the Constitution nugatory, as a large number of students from SC/ST/OBC groups may not be able to complete four years of education. The multiple exit points may become death traps for these students. In spite of the claims made by the university that every student can do a four-year honours degree in the new scheme, the percentage of reserved category students will dwindle in the third and fourth years. They will exit with unequal degrees, the equalising force of education will be lost, and the social stratification will be further hardened.

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Caste-based discrimination a major structural factor underlying poverty: UN

 

media-statement

Continued plight of the 'untouchables'

UN experts call for strengthened protection of more than 260 million victims of caste-based discrimination

GENEVA (24 May 2013) – They occupy the lowest levels of strict, hierarchical caste systems founded on notions of purity, pollution and inequality. They face marginalization, social and economic exclusion, segregation in housing, limited access to basic services including water and sanitation and employment, enforcement of certain types of menial jobs, and working conditions similar to slavery.

They are the Dalits of South Asia, who constitute the majority of victims of entrenched caste-based discrimination systems which affect some 260 million stigmatized people worldwide, people considered 'untouchable'.

"Caste-based discrimination remains widespread and deeply rooted, its victims face structural discrimination, marginalization and systematic exclusion, and the level of impunity is very high," a group of United Nations human rights experts warned today, while urging world Governments to strengthen protection of the hundreds of millions of people across the globe who suffer from discrimination based on work and descent.

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Dalit women on intersections of violence and discrimination at the Human Rights Council

Dalit women on intersections of violence and discrimination at HRC 23 in the UN

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Side event at the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council
 

"Dalit Women: Working Together Towards The Elimination Of
Multiple And Intersecting Forms Of Discrimination And Violence
Based On Gender And Caste"

On 4 June 2013, 14:30-16:30, Room VIII, 3rd floor

This event offers a unique opportunity to explore the cross-cutting and intersecting nature and forms of gender and castebased
discrimination and to discuss what the international community can do to effectively address this entrenched problem.

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European Parliament adopts historic resolution on Dalits

 

International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) Press release

A strongly worded resolution on caste discrimination in India was debated and adopted today by the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The Parliament condemned the high number of atrocities committed against Dalits in India and the Indian government's insufficient action on the issue of caste discrimination.

Copenhagen (IDSN), 13 December 2012 -- The European Parliament (EP) today sent a strong message of solidarity to millions of victims of caste discrimination in India and urged the country's authorities to live up to their pledges to end this serious human rights problem and ensure protection of Dalits and other vulnerable groups.

While acknowledging that significant work had already been done to eradicate caste discrimination in India, the EP expressed its deep concern over the continued human rights violations against Dalits; condemned the high number of atrocities committed against them; and deplored the non-intervention by state actors such as the police in acts of communal violence against Dalits.

Expressing its deep concern about the inhuman practice of manual scavenging, the EP urged the Government of India to amend and enforce the law banning this practice.

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Demand for an open PhD admission notification in University of Hyderabad

 

Letter (dated 8th November, 2012) from the 'Joint Action Committee for the Protection of Reservation' to the Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad

[Via Arun Asokan]

(Please read this article 'Non-Implementation of Reservation policy in University of Hyderabad: A Report' published on 27th November, 2012, for comprehensive information on the implementation of quotas in the university)

~

To
Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy
The Vice-Chancellor Hyderabad
University of Hyderabad

Respected Sir,

Sub: Request to announce an open PhD admission notice in the month of December, reg.

With reference to the letter, addressed to the VC by the Students' Union 2011-2012 (Dt. 22-08-2012) which brought to our notice the lapses designed in the implementation of reservation policy at University of Hyderabad for the academic year 2012-13; we would like to state that there has been a serious deterrent and foul play in implementing the constitutional guarantee for higher education to the depressed classes namely SC/ST/OBC/PH/DP/North-Eastern states and Union Territories Quota.

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Dalit Women's Right to Political Participation in Rural Panchayati Raj (Part 2)

 

Dalit Women's Right to Political Participation
in Rural Panchayati Raj

 

A study of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu

Continued from here.

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Executive Summary

 

~
Jayshree Mangubhai
Aloysius Irudayam sj
Emma Sydenham

 

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(Research done in Collaboration with Navsarjan Trust, Gujarat and Evidence, Tamil Nadu)

 

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 IV. Responsiveness of the State

"I did not take other problems concerning the Vice President's cheating behaviour to the police. I was well aware it would mean more expense and no action would be taken against the dominant caste man. I suffered it all within ... Ever since I decided to enter the panchayat, I am fighting against injustice and atrocities ... Be it a Dalit or non-Dalit woman, their participation in the panchayat administration is never appreciated in this patriarchal country. Then what is the value of social justice here?"

- Pushpa, village Panchayat President, Thirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu, after facing police inaction following her numerous complaints of obstructions during the election process

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